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November 2016 Archives

Dehumidifier Recall Reannounced

The safety concerns related to a recalled product can end up sticking around long after the product is initially recalled. This is because dangerous products are sometimes still in people’s homes or on the secondary market long after they have been recalled. Sometimes, this leads to a recall being reannounced.

Embraer Acknowledges and Settles Bribery Claims

A Brazilian aerospace company, Embraer SA ("Embraer" or the "Company"), has agreed to pay $205 million to settle bribery claims involving the governments of the Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia and Mozambique that were brought forth by U.S. authorities. The lawsuit also alleged that the Company made illegal payments to the Indian military. The U.S. Department of Justice will receive $107 million, $98 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), and $20 million will go to the Brazilian authorities, all as disgorgement of Embraer's illegal profits. The Company also agreed to improve its compliance function, as well as allowing itself to be monitored for a three-year period as part of a deferred prosecution agreement. Although Embraer received credit for its cooperation with the government, the Company could have paid even less if had it adequately punished an executive who allegedly knew and took part in the Company's illegal actions.

WikiLeaks Coverage Exposes Precarious Situation of Whistleblowers

In the wake of the recent U.S. presidential election, lawyers for Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, have revealed that they intend to appeal incoming president Donald Trump to end an ongoing criminal investigation into their client.

DOL spotlight: workers, wage claims and employer retaliation

Here's a point that comes through with crystal clarity in a recent federal blog post authored in tandem by two U.S. Department of Labor administrators: some seriously high wattage will power the beam focused by federal regulators on any wage-based claim featuring allegations of employer retaliation.

FCA Sampling Case Left Undetermined

In September 2015, the Fourth Circuit agreed to hear the United States ex rel. Michaels v. Agape Senior Community, Inc., cv-15-2147, case in which Agape Senior Community, Inc. ("Agape") allegedly improperly billed Medicare and Medicaid for certain hospice services, thereby violating the False Claims Act ("FCA"). When oral arguments were held on October 26, 2016, the Fourth Circuit was unlikely to determine whether statistical sampling can provide evidence of FCA liability, which has been a decision many lower courts hoped would offer guidance.

Is There Any Place in Business for a Non-Compete Agreement?

So-called non-compete agreements have become something of a pariah in the business world in recent years, suffering from a barrage of complaints that tag them as repressive instruments that unfairly burden workers. One recent article penned by a U.S. Department of Labor attorney calls them "overbroad, blunt instruments" that are far too often used in lieu of other means of balancing the employer-employee relationship.